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Veera Hiranandani Receives 2018 Malka Penn Award for Human Rights in Children's Literature For 'The Night Diary'

Author and creative writing professor Veera Hiranandani's new book "The Night Diary," won the Malka Penn Award for Human Rights in Children's Literature. Hiranandani, who currently teaches creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College's Writing Institute, received the award at the Dodd Research Center in Storrs, Connecticut, April 9. According to the UConn Daily News, the award, which celebrates human rights and children's literature, was introduced by Glenn Mitoma, director of the Dodd Research Center.

According to the UConn Daily News report, Hiranandani told the audience about her childhood, growing up in Fairfield County, with "more identities than could be held at once." She was born to an Indian father and a Jewish mother of Polish descent. She told the audience that as a young child of a minority group, Hiranandani struggled to find representation in literature as reassurance of her existence. The book is based on some of the experiences her father had during the Partition.

"The Night Diary," has won the 2019 Newbery Honor Award as well as the 2019 Walter Dean Myers Honor Award. Hiranandani is also the author of "The Whole Story of Half a Girl," which was named a Sydney Taylor Notable Book and a South Asian Book Award Finalist, and the chapter book series, "Phoebe G. Green." She earned her MFA in fiction writing at Sarah Lawrence College.

— By a Staff Writer